The World According To Smark
August 5, 2005 by Michael Knight
Hello everyone. This is the first of what I hope will be many columns on this fine website. Like most of you visiting this site and subsequently reading my column, I am a smark. I've learned to accept my eternal status as a smark. My acceptance comes as a result of my realization that being a smark is nothing to be ashamed of, despite everything Nash and RAW IS HHH have said. Ultimately, they forget that unlike marks, we will never "Brad Pitt" them (leave when things stop getting interesting). Yes, we may critcize, but we do it out of love. Ultimately, we're the ones that pay to watch stink-a-roos such as the Great American Bash or whatever RAW PPV HHH is headlining for the umpteenth time. So to paraphrase the immortal words of Ric Flair, whether you like it or not, we're the best thing keeping the WWE going today. Hell, sometimes we're the only thing keeping the WWE going today. On with the column.
I've always been told that in a disagreement, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Such is the case with the current "feud" between Ric Flair and Bret "Hitman" Hart. For those of you who have no idea in "gobblygooker" what I'm talking about, let me kayfabe you in. In Ric Flair's book "To Be The Man" (Which should actually be entitled "A few hundred pages on how many women Ric Flair "Vince McMahoned" (screwed) and how Ric Flair IS professional wrestling"), Flair spends a few pages knocking the Hitman. Specifically, Flair points out how Bret Hart never drew in the way Hogan and Flair had. Bret Hart retorts (you can find the Hitman's comments www.BretHart.com) that Flair was overrated as a wrestler and difficult, at times impossible, to work with because of his selfishness. Specifically, Hart mentions an incident where Flair did not want to work a match the way Hart wanted to (Hart was champion at the time) because it would have put Hart over too cleanly.
Before I go any further, I want to RVD (shoot) something off my chest. Ever since I started watching wrestling, I've been a Hitman fan. Yes, I was there during the "golden age" of WWF (Don't sue me you panda loving weirdoes) during the 80's, when Hogan would do endless leg drops while the Ultimate Warrior (excuse me, I mean "Warrior" as is now his legal name) would do endless lines of cocaine and Rappin' Randy Savage would beat endless men for breathing the same air as Miss Elizabeth (God rest her soul). But amazingly, none of that stuff ever really impressed me. Ultimately, I tuned in every week to watch Bret Hart do what he did best...WRESTLE. Bret Hart never cut motherly promos telling me to "eat my vitamins and say my prayers" (does that mean Hogan would hate me if I was an atheist") or whispered sentences in a crack induced state with a snake wrapped around his neck. His promos were simple, like the Hitman himself. He would say that he's going to kick some butt, and he would do it. Period. Okay, sorry about that detour. Back to the column.
Ric Flair accuses Bret Hart of never being a major draw. However, like Bret Hart said, he was in fact a major draw...overseas that is. Bret Hart was never a major draw like Hogan and Flair because Hart was on top at a time when wrestling was on the bottom. The steroid fiasco and the endless number of mundane gimmicks (does anyone remember Duke the Dumpster Drosce and Aldo Montoya") had the marks tuning out (while smarks, like us, persevered) and as a result attendance and ratings dropped. This was in no way any fault of the Hitman. He wrestled his "hart" out and carried himself the way a champion should have.
Bret Hart accuses Flair of being selfish as a wrestler. Of course he was selfish. He was Ric Flair, and despite my earlier comments regarding his book, I have nothing but respect for Flair because he helped build the business. In addition, Vince promised Flair that Flair would always be portrayed in a champion-like manner during his tenure with the WWF. Granted, at that time Hart was champion and not Flair, but there's no reason why Flair should put Hart over flat out. That would completely kill the name and reputation he had built. Flair had spent countless years putting over top contenders in various territories while at the same time putting himself over by coming out with the win. This is the style Ric Flair knows how to work and this is the style Ric Flair should work. Flair was not an Mike Iron Sharpe or a Barry Horowitz. He should not be taking the same bumps and having the same matches with the champ as those eternal job squad members.
This is how I saw things as a smark. Feedback and comments are greatly appreciated firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time...stay smark.
by Michael Knight ..
My Reply to "The World According To Smark": This is one of the worst columns I may have ever read. Please quit using people's names as verbs.
Pedro Torres wrote:
The world of professional wrestling has long been a tradition in this country, as it has been in mine--Mexico--where the wrestlers are seen as tangible superheroes who can accomplish just about anything. Believe me, once you have experienced a wrestling match in Mexico's most popular arenas, then you will learn to appreciate the definition of a true wrestling fan. You're probably wondering where this is leading. Well, the fact of the matter is that both Ric Flair and Bret Hart represent the world of pro wrestling and are in the same place as Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan--whom although I hate his in-ring ability, I must praise his gimmick after all these years--and many others.
In my opinion, both athletes should count their blessings and forget about this senseless battle of words. They should see eye to eye and have the intestinal--or should I say, the testicular fortitude to live with the fact that each one in his own unique way has proven to be charismatic and dominant in this industry. Let's face it, both men have given their all in the ring, each contributing greatly to the purpose behind professional wrestling: pleasing an audience and bringing their imaginations to new heights with the moves and wrestling techniques of these modern-day gladiators. If there are two athletes of whom the world of wrestling will be voicing positive remarks throughout their legacy, these will definitely be the Nature Boy Ric Flair (Whooooooooooooooo!!!!!!) and the Excellence of Execution Bret Hitman Hart (the best there is...best there was...best there'll ever be). Thank you, gentlemen for bringing out the best day in and day out. Thank you in advance, for understanding that this is all we wrestling fans care about, not some senseless show of 'who did what to whom' .
Rhett Samios wrote:
Worst. Column. Ever. If you're going to get up on your Bret Hart (i.e. stupid, markish, self indulgent - See, I can do it too.) high horse, at least get your facts straight. It was Bret made the first comments about Flair, and his were very much more subjective than Flair. He said Flair was overrated as a wrestler, and that he wasn't a good booker. That's an opinion, based on, from what I can gather, jealousy and bitterness that Bret Hart wasn't getting portrayed as well as Bret Hart, and more than likely ONLY Bret Hart, thought he deserved. So Flair hits back, and said that he didn't draw, and that he used Montreal and Owen's death to further his own personal agenda against WWE. That's fact, based on WWE's bottom line in the early/mid 90's when Bret was on top and Bret's columns after Montreal and Owen's death. He DIDN'T draw and he DID use those incidents to further his own agenda against WWE. So what does Bret do" Goes and writes more whiny little columns for the Calgary Sun, telling everyone within the sound of his keystroke how Ric Flair/Vince McMahon/WWE is Satan.
I thought you were supposed to be one of the "smart" marks" I repeat. Worst. Column. Ever.
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